I had a conversation with a friend of mine recently that just about sums up the divide that has evolved in our country around politics. (No. Lest be honest it’s always been there.) To make the nature of the situation he described to me clear, I’m going to mention his race and the race of his friend. I won’t, however, mention any further identifying details. I must also admit that I am a bit hesitant about writing this piece. I have tended to stay away from current political goings-on in our country, and to share my thoughts about less toxic issues. This story is one that I must share. It clearly shows how conditional many of our so-called friendships are.
I think it’s clear to any of you, who have read any of my blogs, that I’m and African-American male Baby boomer. My friend, who shared this story, is of the same demographic. We talk politics and current events regularly, and we find ourselves agreeing most of the time. When we do disagree, we agree to disagree, show the utmost respect for each other’s opinion, and move onto the next topic. There’s always something to keep the mental juices flowing. The story my friend shared with me was about an encounter he had with his White friend that obviously didn’t demonstrate the same dynamic our lively discussions normally show.
Here’s the story, short and sweet: My friend had a visit from his buddy, who he has known for quite some time. The guy has been to his house several times and he has reciprocated. On this visit, his buddy brings some deer meat from his last visit to the woods to hunt Bambi’s mother. The two of them had settled into a comfortable friendly encounter, discussing weather and other useless trivia, as normal. Then, my friend mentions something about the economy and how it’s projected to not perform as well in 2019, as it did in 2018. At that, the bearer of the venison said, “Don’t worry, the President will fix everything”. My friend hasn’t the confidence in our current President, as his buddy obviously does, and he made a comment to that effect. Two buddies swapping hunting stories and talking politics, who would have known what would happen next.
My friend describes what must have been shocking. His buddy became very angry. He was incensed by the fact that my friend would dare question the ability of the President to make corrections to the economy, by virtue of his very persona. (By the way, I’ve never thought that the sheer charisma of any President of the United States can do that.) My friend’s buddy jumped up from the position of comfort he was experiencing just a few minutes prior, stormed out the door, hopped in his vehicle and made a hasty exit from the property.
One might wonder if the discussion about the political dynamic that has emerged over the last two years brought about the divide described above, or was the divide already there, simply awakened by this dynamic? I ask anyone reading this to think about this story and journey to your own conclusion.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.
P.S. “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” (1st Timothy 2:1-2)